Salesmen's Seven Steps to a Sale
Car Salesmen's Seven Steps to a Sale
Almost all established sales organizations will have their salespeople follow certain steps to increase the likelihood of a sale. Many companies have these steps in place to provide an outline for their sales staff. However, almost every car dealer will employ the following seven step sale process. These steps have been proven effective for decades, and at most dealers, they are enforced as the law of the land.
The seven steps are used not only to keep the customer on track, but are performed in a certain order to produce a “same day” sales opportunity. As a customer, it is important to recognize these steps and it is necessary to know when to stop the process. Knowing what is going to happen next is a key element of this guidebook. If a customer understands these steps, he will reach a successful outcome more efficiently. Of course, because every dealer is different, these seven steps are performed with varying degrees of intensity. Nevertheless, they exist in almost every car dealership in the United States. Rather than trying to avoid these steps, this guide is designed to allow the salesman to go through them, albeit not on the first visit to the dealership.
The following articles will describe the “Car Salesmen’s Seven Steps” and the psychology behind them.
Seven Steps to a Sale. Step One: Meet and Greet
—Salesman’s Goal: Establish Rapport and Control.
This step is designed to welcome the customer to the dealership and to allow the salesman to introduce himself. However, the salesman’s primary concern is to establish control of the process (Read more about salesperson control in the Dealer Secrets section). Most often, customers will try to avoid talking to a salesman, and will maintain a defensive posture. When greeted by a salesman, the customer will almost always respond, “I’m just looking.” Keep in mind that the management requires that every customer be assisted by a salesman. This philosophy is paramount to dealerships. Every customer must be properly greeted or “Upped” upon arrival. If a salesman greets a customer who is “just looking” and doesn’t engage him properly, he will run the risk that the customer will buy a car somewhere else. Even worse, the customer may buy from another salesperson at his own dealership.
During this step, the salesman is instructed to establish rapport with the customer. Rapport is extremely important and without it the salesman knows he has a slim chance of selling a car. This is why salespeople are sometimes viewed as phony, because during the “meet and greet,” they attempt to find some common ground quickly. The next challenge for the salesperson during the “meet and greet” is to get the customer to reveal a “need.” Once a customer expresses what he is looking for, the salesman can proceed to satisfy that need. They will then move to the next step: Qualifying.